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Posted on Jun 15, 2019

Suspected whirlwind hits awning

Folks in downtown Quincy had an unusual sight Friday afternoon: a long section of a storefront awning hanging from a street light pole.
According to the account given by Veronica Vallejo, owner of Princess Fashions store, the portion of the corner clothing store’s awning facing Central Avenue was hanging from the light pole for about two hours on June 7.

Grant PUD workers carefully remove a store awning from a damaged light pole in Quincy on June 7.
Photo by Dave Burgess/Post-Register

Vallejo said she was in the store but did not know what happened. She said she thought she heard something but did not suspect a problem. Trucks passing by on Central Avenue often make rumbling noises. She said she looked out the door and didn’t notice anything unusual.
Then Fernando Avalos, from nextdoor at Fernando’s Barber Shop, saw the awning was damaged and told Vallejo. She said it must have happened about 12:40 p.m.
The property owner responded quickly. Paul Lischka said he was actually around back of the building when it happened and said it was a whirlwind that blew the awning up and on the street light.
The top arm of the light pole snapped at the connection to the vertical pole and dangled, presenting a risk along with the awning. The area was cordoned off with yellow tape.
Lischka spoke with Vallejo and waited for Grant PUD to come out. Lischka was not going to let anyone touch the awning, with its metal frame, until Grant PUD made sure there was no risk of live wires.
Vallejo was a little concerned that the incident might keep customers away on one of her busier days. She said her store has been at the 317 Central Ave. S, Quincy, for 15 years.
Grant PUD workers arrived with a bucket truck and had the awning down by 2:45 p.m.
During the work on the awning, Central Avenue was not closed, and traffic was only slowed a bit as people paused to see what was happening.

By Dave Burgess,